Two major carriers both announced additional free entertainment options today.
American Adds Apple Music
Beginning Friday, February 1st, American Airlines customers will have access to Apple Music to stream more than 50 million songs, playlists and music videos on any domestic flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi.
To access Apple Music during flight, customers on Viasat-equipped aircraft can connect to Wi-Fi for free and log in with their Apple Music subscription. Apple Music itself will NOT be free if you don’t already have an account. Customers who don’t already have an Apple Music subscription will be able to connect to Wi-Fi, sign up onboard and receive free access for three months. American Airlines will also offer city-themed playlists.
However, I don’t know any 20-something that doesn’t already subscribe to streaming music, services that already allow for offline playback. And a huge caveat to this announcement is that the service will initially only be available on aircraft equipped with Viasat high-speed satellite Wi-Fi.
Fellow Point Me contributor Chris shared this morning that it might be difficult to actually find aircraft that provide the Apple Music service. American currently has three different Wi-Fi providers. These satellite providers include:
- Panasonic: All internationally configured aircraft including all widebodies & 757s.
- All 155 aircraft retrofitted
- Viasat: All domestic legacy AA aircraft will be getting this.
- ~435 of 555 aircraft retrofitted (as of last Friday)
- Gogo2ku: All domestic legacy USAir aircraft complete
- ~146 of 146 aircraft retrofitted
That means Apple Music will initially be available on only Viasat aircraft – 455 including retrofits and MAX deliveries.
United Finally Makes DIRECTV Free
Back in June 2016, Delta announced that all in-flight entertainment via Delta Studio including live TV from Dish would be free of charge. Today, United announces that they are making DIRECTV on supported devices complimentary as well. Effective immediately more than 100 channels of live television will now be free on 211 Boeing 737 United aircraft equipped with seat back TV.